Thursday, 13 January 2011

SPUC to intervene in bedroom abortions case

We at SPUC have said that we will seek leave to intervene in a court case on the legality of so-called bedroom abortions. We are responding to a High Court challenge launched by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of Britain’s main abortion providers. BPAS is seeking to widen the scope for using the drug misoprostol, used in conjunction with RU486, the abortion drug. BPAS uses the drugs to poison the uterine environment and kill unborn children. Allowing misoprostol to be taken at home will increase the numbers of women delivering their dead child at home.

Paul Tully, SPUC’s general secretary, told the media tonight:
“Abortion is an appalling ordeal for women, as well as the killing of an unborn child. In taking this legal action BPAS is trivialising abortion and jeopardising women’s welfare. We will seek to intervene in this case on behalf of unborn children, whose right to life has been protected from the time of Hippocrates in ancient Greece to the establishing of international human rights law in modern times. In contrast, the right to abortion – the killing of an unborn baby - does not exist in English law or any international human rights instrument.

“Ann Furedi, head of BPAS, has said that ‘rising abortion rates are not a problem’ (Spiked Online, 31 March 2008). This cynical attitude is deeply disturbing”.
Some facts about RU486 and misoprostol:
  • The woman is directly involved in the abortion by having to take the pills herself.
  • The nature of the drug means that the woman must live with her abortion over the course of a number of days. The president of Roussel Uclaf, the original makers of RU486, said “The woman must live with this for a full week. This is an appalling psychological ordeal”. (Edouard Sakiz, chairman, Roussel-Uclaf, August 1990)
  • The woman may abort at home and suffer the distress of seeing the expelled embryo/foetus, which she is required to keep and return to the hospital or clinic to help determine if the abortion is complete. If BPAS challenge is successful, women taking misoprostol will go into labour at home. This can be very distressing as labour, usually associated with child-birth, now becomes associated with the delivery of a dead child.
  • Use of RU486/misoprostol may cause any of the following: haemorrhage requiring blood transfusion, severe pain requiring strong pain killers, incomplete abortion, rupture of the uterus, vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, muscle weakness, dizziness, flushing, chills, backache, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, palpitations, rise in temperature and fall in blood pressure. The number and diverse nature of the side effects of RU486/ misoprostol point to the fact that these are powerful chemicals.
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